Cape Town Wine Route – Constantia Valley in The Heart of The City
Posted by helen on September 8th, 2011The tranquillity and peace of a valley, covered in its early morning mists with the sun catching the dew and transforming them into sparkling jewels is not something we readily think of when we think of the bustling, vibrancy of Cape Town. But come with me on a journey of discovery through the oldest wine making region of South Africa and I will show you how the two apparent opposites easily knit together to form a distinctive quality other cities cannot reproduce, making Cape Town one of the worlds most exciting cities to explore. Groot Constantia Estate Minutes from the centre of town the glorious green swathe of the vines greet you as you enter the valley cradled in the protection of Table Mountain, allowing this unique microclimate to produce some of the finest South African wines available. One of the first things you will notice, apart from the grapes and vineyards, is the period Cape Dutch homesteads of considerable size and bearing. Many of these homes are now luxury hotels and guesthouses, such as The Alphen where polished wood floors and sparkling chandeliers grace the reception rooms, lending an air of past glory and gentility. Winding your way through the wine estates themselves, you will unwrap an intimate wine route of only seven wine estates dating back to 1685, when the first saplings arrived in the Cape from France. The outstanding growing conditions, coupled with the gentle, sunny slopes of Table Mountain, soon conspired to produce excellent crops. Today the original, vast estate of Simon Van der Stel, who was the 1st Governor of the Cape, is split into three; Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Buitenverwachting, meaning “Beyond Expectation” and all three are still producing wines of international quality. Constantia Don’t pass through Constantia valley without a visit to the historic Manor House and wine museum at Groot Constantia, the granddaddy (or perhaps that should be grandmother!) of them all! One of the beauties of these stunning estates is the ability to order picnic baskets and sit under the majestic oak trees, sipping the chilled wine of the farm of choice and drinking in the impressive views, many of which stretch all the way down to False Bay on the Indian Ocean side of the Table Mountain range. If picnic baskets are not quite your cup of tea, the restaurants are sure to capture your attention with their gourmet food as the many celebrated chef’s cook their signature dishes for you. See more.
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